Archive for the ‘General Reflections’ Category

The Best Day Ever

With the mindset of Seeing Life With Imagination, a blog post I published a few days ago (with a focus on seeing through the eyes of a child), I saw this beautiful stray violet this morning.

The violet popped up alone, right below the utility trailer where I store the hay for the goats, in a patch of dirt that we recently worked – hoping to sow and grow some lush green grass.

What did I see in the tiny violet? Hope.  Beauty.  A promise that even though we may feel tired, alone, overwhelmed, and even discouraged, the small things in life are wonderous.  We need to pay attention.

My remarkable coach and friend, Donna Maria Coles Johnson from the Indie Beauty Network, said the words yesterday (and it isn’t the first time I’ve heard her say it), “Today is the best day ever!” Donna Maria sees the violets.  She sees life with gusto.

The best day ever.  Be the violet.  Make your world happen despite anything else in life.  Are you there with me?

Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – where you can Smell and Feel the Goodness!


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A few days ago I was reading up on the topic of women that aspire to do what they feel passionate about doing when they reach their 40’s, and even their 50’s and 60’s.  I am not referring to speeding around in a hot little red sports-car, throwing caution to the wind, looking for a man who looks very much like the one on the cover of the little paper-back book, the one that carries the princess off into the sunset, happily ever after.

What I am talking about is the ultimate desire to do whatever a women can do in her lifetime.

What passions I am referring to in this article are those that say to us “I can do this” (not so much material items):  I can now write that series of books, I can now sail the ocean for 90 days, I can now become a doctor, I can now start that farm, I can now start and grow a business.

Is it a mid-life crisis? I am not so sure I can term it as that.  I do think it is an awakening, but is it related to age? Or is it related to women that are now aware of their own question, “Who am I, and how do I become the person that I have always wanted to be?”

The latter.  And don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot do it.

P.S. See the little black 1953 Chevy Bel-Air in the photo (via http://cars.oodle.com)? I want one.  No, I do not plan to get one.  Do I consider it a mid-life crisis? No, I think the car is beautiful.


Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – Smell and Feed the Goodness

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I treasure Seth Godin’s work.  Even when I do not agree with what he has to say, he still makes me think.

A recent post on Seth’s blog, titled Stick To What You (Don’t) Know, hit home with me.  Seth’s words, “No one knows more about the way you think than you do. Applying that approach, combining your experience, taking a risk–this is what we need from you.”

That is what I need from me.  That is what you need from you.  That is what we ALL need from each other.  People are not born experts.  And even the experts are still learning.  When you lead you step forward, you trust in yourself to say the right thing at the right time.  You just do.

Believe in yourself, what you have to say, what you do.  Do it for yourself without fear.


Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – Smell and Feel the Goodness

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Imperfections are beautiful.

I think of people, embracing differences.  I think of soap, embracing the beauty of handmade, made from scratch.  We do not cut off the uniqueness from either.  Instead, we celebrate the character.

Love yourself.  Love who you are.  No discounting allowed.

Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – Smell and Feel the Goodness

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small business branding

No, I am not talking about taking a red-hot cattle prod, sticking it on you back-side to leave a unique mark.

What I am talking about is your presence on life.

Even if you do not represent or own a business, are you leaving your mark on life responsibly?

Are you being responsible in the sense that you promote positive feelings in others? Are you speaking in words that uplift, or are you speaking in words that leave other’s pondering, perhaps dragging them down with you? Are you speaking in words that etch out your future, the future that you are in control of?

When you write online (a blog post or comments, Facebook status updates and comments, Twitter updates) are you enjoying the freedom of speech (it isn’t always about fluffy soft place), yet, ensuring you represent yourself with dignity? If not, you may be branding yourself for failure.

Everything you do in life is a part of who you are.  If you are a business owner, you are a separate being from your business.  But what you do, each and every footprint, each and every word, each and every decision, is a part of you, and you as the business owner are a part of your brand.  No, you are not Campbell’s Soup, or Tide laundry detergent, but you are ______ (fill in your name) who has the reigns in their hands that will lead their own horse-drawn team into a more positive future (for yourself and others), or you can lead it into the trenches.  Tow trucks are expensive and can leave ruts that stick around for years.

I am not heading into the trenches if I can keep from it.

Are you?

Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – Smell and Feel the Goodness

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Experts tell us to not mix religion or politics with business.

When it comes to certain things in life, I am my own expert.  I do not stand behind too many leaders on this planet.  I listen, I learn, but I do according to my own beliefs, intuition, and wisdom.

I purposely do not mix politics with business.  I understand politics well enough to know who I want to vote for, but I do not study politics enough to want to argue about it.  Politics is one very hot to touch topic.  And honestly, let’s have a safe place where we don’t have to hear about politics.  One of those places:  here.

My personal definition of religion is: a group or individual that believes and practices a faith in their God.

As a business woman I treasure our  freedom to talk about politics and religion.

If I say, “I wish everyone would feel empowered to build upon their God-given talents, those given to you before your birth.”  My intention is not a push of my faith.  My intention is solely based on humanity, my ingrained care for people.

If I quote scripture, which I do from time to time, especially on Twitter, it is what motivates me.  It is my faith.  Never do I expect anyone to follow my religion.  But I will not hide it.  It is who I am.  A non-denominational Christian.

Do I mix religion with business? In the respect that I do not hide my faith, yes.  It is a part of what I was designed to do.  And I know it.

What prompted this blog post? Watch Twitter, Facebook, and blog posts.  There is a wide-range of beliefs in the blogosphere (as much as I hate that term), and I feel there is a lot of fear.  My own self, I love people regardless of what they believe in.  I will not support people who do not respect human lives.

Finished.   Comments?

Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – Smell and Feel the Goodness!

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Your Job Matters

There are things in life that I wish could change.

The first is, I would love to flip a switch so every living being could see their own talents, their own gifts, and I would love to see them find their “oomph,” a sense of empowerment, to make their unique gifts work for them in life.

I also would like to flip the switch to the “on position” for people who do not see the value of the jobs they do in life.

Flipping a hamburger may not be what you want to do.  You may not want to sweep the carpet.  You may not want to be a bank teller.  You may not want to drive a truck.  Regardless of what you are doing right now, with the exception of unethical work, what you do is a valuable part of the puzzle of life.

When you flip that hamburger, do the people you respond to (the customer standing behind the counter, your manager, your co-workers), know that you are making an effort to complete a part of someone’s day?

When you drive that truck, do you realize that your attitude affects 100’s, or even 1000’s on the road?

When you make that bar of soap, are you honest and careful with your ingredients, knowing that someone is trusting you to their skin care? Do you realize that each bar of soap that you make reflects on your entire industry?

Do your job sloppily as a customer service representative and watch how many lives you affect.  You affect your own demeanor, the well-being of the company you work for, and you affect the person at the other end of the phone conversation.

Here is how I see our work in life:  there is nothing wrong with not liking what we do.  We all do a lot of things that we may not 100% enjoy in life.  Money is a necessity to keeping the lights on.  But, we are very much like ants.  Yes, ants.  Each ant has a job.  One carries a blade of grass.  One carries dirt  to build the ant hill.  Notably, ants do not complain.  They may spat occasionally, but they do not stop working to display a single ounce of protest.  It is about teamwork.  Does an ant need to be told what to do?

In the human work-force I see levels of responsibilities, of course, but I also see each and every service performed as a level part of the big picture.  As I write this, I am part of a picture, part of your picture.  Part of a business picture.  Part of a human picture.  We are all on that very same level.  We contribute in one way, shape, or form.

And then there is what I call “dropping the ball.”  Deliberately, because you see no value in your contributions in life.  A person CAN change their role, but until that happens, be responsible for your puzzle piece (your job, your contribution).  Protect it to ensure it still fits the puzzle securely until it is handed to someone else.  Be responsible for your business (or what you do in life), what you say, how you do it, and, #1, be responsible to the people you come in contact with.

You have no excuse.

Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – Smell and Feel the Goodness

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